Mavs clowned after denying Jalen Brunson same contract ex-Boston Celtics big signed a year later

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks could've had Jalen Brunson on a four-year, $55 million extension back during the 2021-22 season, but instead of signing Luka Doncic's former No. 2 option to a bargain, Mark Cuban's franchise passed on the guard, traded for Kyrie Irving, and then executed a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics for Grant Williams for the same price Brunson would've cost.

Brunson recently went on "All The Smoke" with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes to detail his story.

"I wanted to stay there, I thought I would be there for a long time, and I liked my role there," Brunson told Jackson and Barnes (h/t CBS Sports). "It's funny because my agent was like, 'You can do so much, you can get more, you can get more.' I'm saying, 'Well, I want to be safe. I'm not trying to gamble right now. This is not something you really gamble with if it's out there.' But [the Mavericks] were like, 'We want to see where we're at by like 20, 25 games into the season.' We were like, 'All right, well, if you're not going to do it, I kind of don't want to do it until after the season. I'm not trying to think about this [during the season].' 

"So there was a period where Luka [Doncic] went out and I started to start. I was playing really well, I think I was averaging like 20 and like six, maybe, whatever. It was about that 20-, 25-[game] mark. And so we went back, we're like, 'Hey, if the deal is there, we're thinking about it.' Like, 'I'll do it, like right now.' Still, it was no. It wasn't a hard no -- it was just like, 'We want to see, we want to see.'"

Mavs would be contender right now if they re-signed Jalen Brunson instead of adding former Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving and Grant Williams

Brunson's lack of a deal with Dallas turned out to be one of the more significant butterfly effects in the NBA. Had he re-signed with the Mavs, it's possible the New York Knicks wouldn't be in a position to threaten the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference right now.

And it's possible Dallas would be among the top teams in the Western Conference, instead of a team in danger of having to win a Play-In game to reach the postseason. Eh, let's be real: the Mavs would 100% be a contender if Brunson never left and was signed to a pact that's at a role player's rate.

These are the kinds of mistakes stars reference in the future explaining why they left the franchise that drafted them.